"Cherokee Freedmen" with Preston Washington
January 13, 2011
Preston Washington has done extensive research into the records of Freedmen, slaves owned by Indian tribes. Certain Native American tribes had close relations with African Americans, especially those in the Southeast where slavery was prevalent. Members of the Five Civilized Tribes (Cherokee, Creek, Seminole, Choctaw, and Chickasaw) held enslaved blacks, who migrated with them to the West during Indian Removal in 1830 and later.
In peace treaties with the United States after the American Civil War, the tribes, which had sided with the Confederacy, were required to emancipate slaves and give them full citizenship rights in their nations. The Black Indians were known as tribal Freedmen.
The Index to the Cherokee Freedmen Enrollment Cards of the Dawes Commission, 1901-1906 by Jo Ann Curls Page is one example of what is available for research in this area. Come visit with Preston, learn what other records are available, and hear how he and his family learned about their slave ancestry.
Midwest Genealogy Center